Author Topic: Optimise routes by only turning left?  (Read 1189 times)

telstarbox

  • Loving the lanes
Optimise routes by only turning left?
« on: August 08, 2018, 08:54:12 am »
An interesting article from the Independent which suggests that it's quicker to take left turns where possible* to minimise waiting time and conflict points:

*in the UK etc

Quote
It might seem strange, but UPS delivery vans don’t always take the shortest route between stops. The company gives each driver a specific route to follow and that includes a policy that drivers should never turn through oncoming traffic . This means that routes are sometimes longer than they have to be. So, why do they do it?

...

UPS has moved away from trying to find the shortest route and now look at other criteria to optimise the journey. One of their methods is to try and avoid turning through oncoming traffic at a junction. Although this might be going in the opposite direction of the final destination, it reduces the chances of an accident and cuts delays caused by waiting for a gap in the traffic, which would also waste fuel.
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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 12:44:47 pm »
It's an interesting optimisation.  Not surprised that it's quicker in dense urban areas.

I wonder if you (for values of you that are probably limited to the big networked satnav providers, in order to make an appreciable difference) could optimise routes for overall traffic volume?


I also note that an appropriately-specified last mile delivery vehicle such as a cargo cycle or electric van wouldn't consume fuel while waiting at a junction...
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 12:47:24 pm »
I don't think it's by any means a new strategy, though the ability to link it to a measure of current traffic volumes (as opposed to a reasonable guess) is. And as for not consuming fuel while waiting to make a turn, it's the time that costs, not the fuel.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 12:52:28 pm »
A recommendation here is to plan cycle routes clockwise so that mostly right-hand turns are necessary. It avoids sending cyclists across traffic streams.  The UK works widdershins.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

JennyB

  • Old enough to know better
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 10:55:30 am »
A recommendation here is to plan cycle routes clockwise so that mostly right-hand turns are necessary. It avoids sending cyclists across traffic streams.  The UK works widdershins.

It also means you have the sun in your eyes less often.
Jennifer - walker of hills



T42

  • Gaulois réfractaire
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 01:17:29 pm »
Do you? I never thought it through that far.  My left arm always gets more sun than the right, though.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 01:19:21 pm »
Do you? I never thought it through that far.  My left arm always gets more sun than the right, though.

I'm the other way round.  I attribute that to living to the south of a conurbation and generally riding in the afternoon (especially in hayfever season).
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Andrij

  • Андрій
  • Ερασιτεχνικός μισάνθρωπος
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 01:51:20 pm »
This is one reason my Thames Path Meander runs counter-clockwise.
;D  Andrij.  I pronounce you Complete and Utter GIT   :thumbsup:

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
  • Just a tart for retro kit . . .
    • John's Bikes
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 10:17:02 pm »
Mythbusters confirmed the theory. What benefit there is for cyclists aside from deconfliction would be IMO open to debate.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2018, 06:56:11 am »
Mythbusters confirmed the theory. What benefit there is for cyclists aside from deconfliction would be IMO open to debate.

Yeah, but that’s no small thing though is it
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2018, 01:16:17 pm »

I wonder how much geography changes this, if turning right all the time (sorry, I'm in civilisation where they drive on the wrong side), would result in doing more hills say?

My biggest screw up in routing is discovering that I'm on the wrong side of the canal to where I want to be, and I have to do upto a 1km detour to a bridge to get the 10m I need to my destination. (It's really annoying when geocaching).

I think that the US grid layout style cities may be more beneficial of this style of routing than cities like Ankh Morpoch^W^W London, or Paris, or Amsterdam. As for Brussels, just abandon all hope those who go there...

Incidentally since being in Amsterdam I have realised that the only sensible directions are Hubwards (towards central station), rimwards (towards the A10), turnwise, and widershins. Trying to do Noord, Zuid, Oost or West just gets confusing... Hanging out with geeks this system has been adopted by friends surprisingly fast...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: Optimise routes by only turning left?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2018, 01:33:15 pm »
Hubwise and rimwards would presumably also work well in central Paris, with its radial layout. Also a couple of Polish cities (one of them explicitly modelled on Paris). And would have worked well in Bristol before about 1600.
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)